The Leadership Challenge Overview

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Learn about the most trusted leadership development program in the world.


  • All leaders are born,

    but exemplary leaders

    are made

    James m . Kouzes & Barry z . Posner

    e v i d e n c e B a s e d | c u s t o m i z a B l e | o n l i n e

  • Are leaders born or made?The answer? Both. Naturally, they are born,

    and every day they are made. And, they can be

    made better. Thats because leadership is an

    observable set of skills and abilities that can

    be measured and learned. In fact, leadership

    development is really selfdevelopment. It is a

    lifelong learning journey.

  • Leadership Matters

    Its EvEryonEs BusInEss!

    Simply put, every day leaders achieve the extraordinary. Nearly 30

    years ago, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner set out to discover exactly

    how ordinary people accomplish great things. In fact, they wrote the

    book that has stood the test of time to become the modern classic

    on leadership. More than 1.5 million people worldwide have read

    their BusinessWeek bestseller, The Leadership Challenge. This

    groundbreaking book and the assessment tool that followed, The

    Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), are even more relevant today.

    Consider the new leadership context: Heightened uncertainly around the world and a dramatically

    changing workforce. Even more connectednesswith access to information just a keystroke away.

    Social capital has replaced intellectual capital as the new currency. And finally, we live in a hurryup

    culture, where the speed and rate of change can be frenetic. But one thing has remained the same.

    The need for competent and trustworthy leaders. Its what the tools and resources of The Leadership

    Challenge and The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership are all about. Within each of us, we can

    discover the power to lead.

    WHAt ArE tHE BEnEFIts?

    Leaders who practice exemplary leadership are more effective in meeting jobrelated demands and

    more successful in representing their groups to upper management. They create higher performing

    teams and foster renewed loyalty and commitment. They increase motivational levels and willingness

    to work hard. They reduce absenteeism and turnover. They encourage personal credibility and ethical

    behavior. But best of all, they inspire the people they work with and those people are, in turn, more

    committed, excited, energized , influential, and empowered. They will exert a positive influence on

    everyone in your organization. So you see, leadership really is everybodys business. And it does matter.

    Leadership Matters

    | page 1

  • Putting Leadership into Practice


    Leaders at their personal best. This is what the authors focused on

    to better understand the characteristics common to extraordinary

    leadership achievements. After conducting hundreds of interviews,

    analyzing thousands of case histories, and reviewing hundreds of

    thousands of survey questions, they discovered that leaders at all

    levels have similar patterns of behavior. In fact, they found that

    leadership is not at all about personality: its about practice. When

    getting extraordinary things done in organizations, leaders engage

    in The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, and these Five

    Practices are available to anyone, in any organization, who accepts the

    leadership challenge.

    MEAsurInG tHE FIvE PrACtICEs

    Kouzes and Posner believe that those best at leading are the best at learning, and one important way

    to learn is by receiving regular feedback. Thats why they created The Leadership Practices Inventory

    (LPI): to enable your leaders to be the best they can be and continually improve their leadership skills.

    Used by more than 3 million people worldwide, this 360degree assessment tool is part of the prework

    that participants complete before The Leadership Challenge Workshopor it can be used as part

    of an existing leadership development program. It approaches leadership as a measurable, learnable,

    and teachable set of behaviors, and helps individuals and organizations like yours measure leadership

    competencies, while guiding you through the process of applying The Five Practices of Exemplary

    Leadership model to reallife organizational challenges.

    putting it

    into practice

    | page 2

  • LeadersIf youre anything like the thousands of

    individuals and organizations that have

    experienced the program, you too will have

    a leadership story to tell. Seldom do the

    stories sound like textbook management

    case studies, but rather they are often tales

    of personal transformation and bold action.

    Weve highlighted some leadership stories

    in this brochure that we know youll

    find inspiring.

    putting it

    into practice

    | page 3

  • 1M O D E LT H E WAY 1. Clarify values by fi nding your voice and

    affi rming shared ideals.

    2. Set the example by aligning actions withshared values.

    2I NSP IREA SHARED VISION 3. Envision the future by imagining exciting

    and ennobling possibilities.

    4. Enlist others in a common vision byappealing to shared aspirations.

    The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership

    the FiVe practices

    | page 4

  • 4ENABLEOTHERS TO ACT 7. Foster collaboration by building trust and

    facilitating relationships.

    8. Strengthen others by increasingselfdetermination and developing competence.

    5ENCOURAGETHE HEART 9. Recognize contributions by showing

    appreciation for individual excellence.

    10. Celebrate the values and victories bycreating a spirit of community.


    5. Search for opportunities by seizing theinitiative and by looking outward for innovative ways to improve.

    6. Experiment and take risks by constantlygenerating small wins and learning from experience.

    the FiVe practices

    | page 5

  • Model the WayLeaders like Sahira tend to focus on valuesand she has got one of the strongest work ethics Ive ever seenWhen Sahira Abdool was promoted to Director and Chief Clerk of the Houston Municipal Courts

    Administration Department, she faced major challenges. The organization was mired in topdown

    management and staff moral was at an all time low. A productiononly environment yielded only

    negligible results. Sahira took on the assignment with a focus on optimizing the organization through

    values, vision, and shared aspirations. She set the example from the top and the results have been very

    impressive in a short period of time.



    ModeL the W


    | page 6

  • Inspire a Shared VisionWhat we want to do most at Opportunity Impact is really open the doors for children to design and believe in and create their own futureEmily LoSavio left a career in the insurance industry to pursue her personal vision of service to

    underprivileged children. Based on her own upbringing, she was committed to this kind of public

    service. She was able to share her vision for these children with others and secure funding for

    Opportunity Impact, an afterschool program for youngsters who reside in public housing. Through

    academic support, coaching, and enrichment activities, Emily and her colleagues encourage the

    children to achieve a vision of their own longterm success.



    inspire a shared Vision

    | page 7

  • Challenge the ProcessI had a vision for where I wanted the stores to go, and I wanted technology to start playing a very large role in thatGenesco, Inc., a retail organization, sought a new Chief Information O cer for their shared services

    Information Technology (IT) function. The challenge was to leverage economies of scale while providing

    specifi c, tailored technological solutions to unique and independent business segments. Jeff was able to

    align the business and IT, change the functional silo way of operating, and get the various departments

    working together toward a common purpose. As a result, the team was able to accomplish more than

    they had previously thought possible.



    chaLLenge the process

    | page 8

  • Enable Others to ActIf you dont know, you cant do betterHe grew up in the ghetto of Los Angeles. Intrigued by a guy in a suit who was making money legally,

    he became an entrepreneur at an early age. He realized the important of understanding the world of

    fi nance in order to succeed and he later founded Operation Hope as a beginning of his lifelong eff ort to

    give back to his community. The organization off ers internet access, loans, and fi nancial literacy training

    to enable citizens to develop businesses and function economically in the world.



    enaBLe others to act

    | page 9

  • Encourage the HeartAt the store level, we celebrate on a daily basisTom Johnson has worked in retail for many years. He chose to modify his leadership style after

    attending a Leadership Challenge Workshop many years ago. The environment that Tom and

    his leadership teammates have created at Aropostale is very much a spirit of community. The